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C is for Crayons

What do you like to write with?

Most of us now write on computers in today’s writing world. I do most of my writing on one. I have memories of when I was in college and my papers were written on a typewriter. When I made a mistake and I was lucky, I could fix it with a little bit of whiteout. More often, I had to totally retype much of what I had written to correct the error.

A is for A

A start. A beginning. A is one. It is the first one and the one which must be completed before there are others. We have to have A before we can have others.

As a writer, I have to start with A single something. A letter. A word. A sentence. A paragraph. A chapter. A finished manuscript. A submission.

Today I am starting a new set of blogs. The set is starting with A blog. It’s a baby step. Tomorrow I take the next step with the letter B. This month reminds me that just like the blogs for this challenge; all of my writing is one step at a time. I can’t do it all at once.

Children

I love children and working with them. But sometimes the curves they can throw me can change a lot. I teach a class for AWANA at my church. The children in it are 3rd through 6th grade.

For our last class before Christmas I told them a story dealing with how the birth of Christ was connected to stories in the Old Testament. I was surprised to have almost 20 children attentive, interactive, and interested. Most of the time we can get most of them on track, but not all of them. As a result several people who know I am an author have asked for a copy of the book I based the story on.

Crunching

The weather has been very cold and I have seen a lot of complaints about it on Facebook. For me, cold is somewhat uncomfortable, but more important to me is the sound of crunching snow. I love crunchy snow. It brings back many memories from childhood. Every step takes me back to a time when all I had to do in the snow was play.

I also greatly enjoy shoveling snow which makes most people think I’m crazy. That does not mean I like snow blowers, because I don’t. When I am out in the snow and cold, the only noises I want to hear is the crunching and the birds.

Editing for an Editor

I’m still thinking about what I learned from Erin Healey at the Peak Writing Conference. My editor’s mind is still struggling she said with which I had a mixed reaction. She said authors should not be too concerned with copy editing (punctuation, grammar, etc.) and to be more focused on things like characterization, plot, sequence – basically structure issues. She very briefly mentioned making sure the copy issues were addressed but didn’t elaborate.

I agree structure issues are the most important. Copy problems are easy fixes for the editor.

Distractions

At the ACFW Colorado Springs Peak Writing Conference on Saturday, speaker Erin Healy talked about one of the obstacles to completing our manuscripts being distractions. On one level it made me laugh, but on the other I realized it is a serious problem for me in a way I didn’t expect.

It made me laugh because in the past I have told people one of the distractions to my writing is my house. It screams at me. “Wash the dishes.” “Take the clothes out of the dryer.” “Rearrange the office.” These are just a few of the things my house tells me to do.

Blogging a Book

I’ve heard a number of people talk about blogging a book. In many ways it is a good idea. But there are a number of things an author has to think about if they plan on doing this.

Basically, blogging a book means taking a group of blogs an author wrote and putting them together into a book. Generally, but not always, more information is added. The book may or may not be promoted as a compilation of the authors writing.

If the book is self-published, there is no problem with doing this.

Commenting on blogs

All this month I'm blogging every day for Written World Communications as our yearly Resolve to Write during January. Today, I wanted to share one of the blogs from that site.

I’m still looking at other blogs for information on how to write blogs. One suggestion for building an audience is commenting on other blogs, especially blogs on complimentary topics. It is important to include your blog site with the comments. I have to say I have mixed feelings about this.

Actually I like to get comments when I am blogging and I also enjoy leaving comments for others.

Writing Friends

During the month of December I had very little personal contact with my writing friends. There were fewer meetings and a lot of activities to interfere with my writing and to take me away from my friends.

January started with a lot of writing. First, because I’ve focused on blogging. Second, because I set a very large word count writing goal for my novel. And third, I was challenged during December to write a book for children – a totally new area for me. The blogging is going well. I’m currently way behind on the word count.

Dash or Ellipsis

Since Monday is my day to blog as an editor, I decided to talk about something I’ve seen a lot of lately and which is frustrating me. When is it proper to use a dash or an ellipsis? What is the difference?

To make the answer more frustrating for me, I was recently at a presentation by a well-known, multi-published author who gave a partially wrong answer to this question. So here is what I know. Feel free to argue with me if you disagree.

A dash indicates a sudden or harsh interruption, especially in dialogue. An ellipsis indicates words left out of a quotation or a soft pause.

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